Mike Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrapped up his four-day trip to China and departed from the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang on Wednesday after visiting a submarine base of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Mullen’s China tour came after Chen Bingde, the chief of the PLA’s General Staff, visited the U.S.in May.
“I think these visits and exchanges, not just between the leaders but also among military forces, have helped to clear up a lack of transparency. I regard them as a very positive step,” Mullen said on Tuesday while watching a jet fighter training exercise in north China’s Shandong Province.
“The relationship (between the United States and China) has just recently renewed, so we have a long way to go,” Mullen said, adding that “I’m confident in the future of our military-to-military relationship.”
Early this year, President Hu Jintao paid a state visit to the United States, during which he reached a consensus with U.S. President Barack Obama on jointly building a China-U.S. partnership that will feature mutual respect, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.
During his stay in China, Mullen also watched an anti-terror drill and visited the Second Artillery Force, which is responsible for China’s nuclear hardware.
“Mullen’s visit highlighted the consensus reached between China and the United States and showcased the commitment that China holds toward boosting ties between the armed forces of both nations,” said Qian Lihua, director of the Foreign Affairs Office with the Chinese National Defense Ministry.